The Hour (UK) Image

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 52 Ratings

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  • Summary: This British drama is set in the BBC's newsroom during the mid-1950s where journalist Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw) and Hector Madden (Dominic West) battle for the affections of a producer, Bel Rowley (Romola Garai), who works on their investigative news program.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Aug 17, 2011
    The Hour stands perfectly well on its own merits. It's so good that other shows should start looking to it as something to emulate.
  2. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Aug 17, 2011
    The BBC's The Hour, the best new show this summer.
  3. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Aug 17, 2011
    The smartly written series throws a lot of information, historical context, beautiful sets and costumes at viewers early on to create what eventually becomes a first-rate thriller.
  4. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Aug 15, 2011
    This is the kind of meticulously handsome period piece one would expect to find via the BBC--mostly because it would surely struggle Stateside. Judged by the most bottom-line measurement of all, The Hour is an hour well spent.
  5. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Aug 17, 2011
    It offers amusement and a tad of suspense, but little to ponder over the long run.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Aug 17, 2011
    No, The Hour is unlikely to remind anyone of "Mad Men." Except that it's superior period drama with a deliberate pace.
  7. Reviewed by: Renee Scolaro Mora
    Aug 17, 2011
    Freddie's stereotypically hard-hitting reporter's persona is soon tiring and irksome. Still, Freddie isn't so tedious as the show's "villains."

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Aug 29, 2011
    Just watched the final episode of the first series and understand it has been commissioned for a second. Excellent work BBC. This is storytelling at it's best; thoughtful, considered and well paced. People have compared it with the excellent Mad Men but the only comparison is the time frame - this is very different in geography, context and concept. Compare the two and you're missing the point. I can't comment directly on the feel of the BBC at the time (although I understand the BBC was trying to overthrow government control at the time) however overall if definitely captures the era with rising issues such as racism, nationalism and equality at the forefront. An intriguing, if slightly obvious plot towards the end, delivered through superb acting and excellent direction. Can't wait for series 2. Expand
  2. Aug 21, 2011
    Simply excellent. The attention to detail, the acting, the story every single bit comes together in this show. It's rare for me to like a show this much. Expand
  3. Aug 24, 2011
    Is it like madmen, yes. Is it as good, probably not as erudite but certainly far and away more gripping. A brilliantly paced wondrously executed show that I would recommend to anyone interested in period dramas, or thrillers. Circling around the events of a nascent BBC program, the titular hour, the show quickly becomes embroiled in a wondrously written spy novel that will have you on the edge of your seat from end to end. Expand
  4. Sep 7, 2011
    Very good show, I´ve watched all 6 episodes already and I was a bit disappointed towards the end, but overall the acting is good, the script is satisfying, and i liked it. Expand
  5. Aug 18, 2011
    I've only seen the first episode, but I'm absolutely going to keep watching. The cast is excellent (Ben Winshaw & Dominic West in particular), but it's the sense of impending danger that keeps thing especially intriguing. I'm fired up to see the rest. It's a perfect stopgap before the fall season begins. Expand
  6. Dec 5, 2012
    dishy period drama
  7. Aug 24, 2011
    Over-hyped, but thankfully not yet over here [in the USA]. All the worst features of the BBC committee-style, commissar-style production are on view here. Some great actors, appalling script and no feel whatsoever for the ers. Almost every scene is drowned in anachronistic political correctness...race, women, health issue. Some Brit critics have complained but with the BBc few dare to challenge the monopoly. They have rallied around the flag to praise this but it does not stand up, especially to the trite comparisons to Mad Men. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews